Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo Friday

 Every Saturday morning, we take Ella to her creative movement class at The Minnesota Ballet downtown. I love walking into the building to be surrounded by all of its art and artists. The Ballet is located in a few studio rooms in the basement while the stage is on the main level. I once did a show there with one of Duluth's theatre companies, The Duluth Playhouse, while I was in college. Such good memories. Now, being there with Ella, make my heart sing. 

After ballet, Ella and I went on a date. We began at the public library. How great are these books painted on an enormous pillar outside the building?

Cuddles with Daddy after a morning of playing at church. 

Shortly after church, we went to lunch with my sister & her girls. Sam was sporting his new shirt from the National Down Syndrome Society. It was designed by Kelle Hampton, the mama I wrote about in this post a couple weeks ago.

This is what happens when you're off playing and fill your diaper, which then also covers your clothes and mama doesn't have extras. Nakedness!

Ella's new school picture! Isn't she beautiful?!

Ella didn't have school Thursday or Friday this week, so she accompanied us to Sam's OT and PT appointments. She is such a good big sister.

It's getting chilly here! Winter is certainly on its way.


This last one is a picture I posted on Instagram this week while shopping. I shared some real feelings when I posted it, so I'll copy what I wrote with the photo since it's something I'm working on daily.

I went to buy a needed pair of jeans today & was not impressed with the experience. I've struggle to get back in pre-Sammy, healthy shape, but I'm taking steps to change that. I realized, standing in the fitting room, that I was able to make a choice. I'm so happy to say that I chose to be confident & happy, even if I have a fitness journey ahead. I'm incredibly thankful for other mamas who have set a strong example of real beauty & to be the a child of a King who adores me. 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easter for Halloween?

Oh, my dear bloggy friends, I have not left you. I greatly apologize for my absence. Life has been a'movin! 

Not long ago, I mentioned that I am working on two big projects this fall. I revealed one in our last post - a vintage camper makeover. I'm happy to share that yesterday she was taken away to begin work on her roof, the first step in her winter-long transformation. Next will be all new outside lights and a paint job. I can't wait for the painting to begin! Then we'll see real changes. Anyway, that's project number one.

Project number two is a biggie and will surely be noticed by all of you. I am so exctied to let you in on my little secret: Amazing blog changes are just around the corner! I'm currently working with a deigner to create a completely new everything for the blog. We will soon be celebrating Little Olsen's fifth (yes, fifth!) blogaversary, which will be the perfect time for more than just a makeover. With a new look, there will be a new commitment on my part to posting. Twice a week you'll be able to ckeck in for written updates or simple musings. Two other days each week will feature photos or guest posts. You'll be able to click to our blog and know which days you can find what and know that it will always be fresh and new. I want to tell you so much more, but I'll try to contain myself for now. Just know that there is much more to come. And soon. I hope to have everything rolled out by the start of the new year. It's going to be great!


Now let us catch up a bit. A couple weeks ago, we had Halloween with our annual trick-or-treating with the cousins at the university dorms. Such a genius idea to do this in the dorms since then we don't have to cover cute little costumes with big, bulky jackets and snow pants. You know how it can be here in Northern Minnesota. I remember many years trick-or-treating with a costume pulled on tightly over my pink snowsuit and boots. Do you know how hard it is to unwrap those tiny Tootsie Rolls while wearing plushy mittens? I'm so thankful to stay indoors for the festivities with our little ones.

Our dear Ella told me in September that she wanted to be a bunny for the holiday this year. I brainstormed how to make that happen. By brainstorming, I really mean I just logged onto Pinterest and searched for ideas. Why re-invent the wheel, right? I'm certainly not the first mama to create a bunny costume. After finding beautiful, elaborate toddler-sized costumes, I decided we were going to keep this as simple as possible. Then it occurred to me that I could probably convince Ella to be a ballerina bunny and go with most of what we already had. Let's be real, friends. Do you think I actually needed to convince her to be anything related to a ballerina? She was sold in an instant. I ordered cheap ears on Amazon (easier than gathering materials and making them from scratch) and we were set. 

Just before heading out the door, I decided to give Ella a little pink-painted nose with black whiskers. Do bunnies even have whiskers? If you're trying to find out, don't Google "bunny costume." You can guess what I came up with. I still have no idea if the little furry critters have whiskers, but I did end up putting little black dots on Ella's cheeks with eyeliner, just in case. That way I didn't have to fully commit. Smart mama, huh? I think the makeup along with the legwarmers just put her right over the top with cuteness.

I eventually realized that part of the reason Ella wanted to be a bunny was because Sam was going to be a chick. How cute is that? I think we have a book with a bunny and a chick, which might actually be an Easter book. Was this Easter or Halloween? I might dress them up in these very same outfits for our annual Easter egg hunt in the Spring!

Here's our little chick. Remember when Ella wore this costume? Cutest. Thing. Ever. Sam didn't seem to mind it at all while I wheeled him up and down the dorm halls. He wasn't a bit interested in candy, though. Maybe I shouldn't say that. He wasn't a bit interested in candy wrappers. I didn't really want him to get candy on that sweet chicky fluff. I gave him a cookie when we got home, though,. I am a pretty nice mom, after all. 

Little mister seemed pretty cozy in his stroller.

Another fun part of going to the university is that the dorm advisors organize all kinds of fun games and treats for the kids.

Overall, we had a pretty great time this year. Cute costumes, no puffy snowsuits, and just enough candy to last a day or two.

We'll be back next year!


goodbye glasses!
The day after Halloween I went under the laser and had corrective eye surgery. Such a dream. Well, not the actual procedure. That part was pretty uncomfortable. It was a procedure similar to Lasik called PRK, which works to correct astigmatism as well as far-sightedness. I had both. Apparently, PRK is more painful and takes a bit longer to heal than Lasik because of how they do it. I was just thankful for darkness, Tylenol, and public radio podcasts while I healed. Pete was with the kids all weekend while I kept my eyes closed as much as possible. Then my mom came for two nights when Pete went back to work. Oh, how I love having my mom stay with me. She did after Sam arrived and after my appendix ruptured a year ago. I might consider being sick more often if it meant my mom could come take care of me every time. By the end of her couple days with us, I was feeling good. My sight is still adjusting, but I'm told that in two or three more weeks I'll be seeing very well and in about six months my sight will be nearly perfect. I started wearing glasses when I was 10, so I'm still getting used to not having htem. Such a treat to be free. It really, really is. 

 Back in the early days of my glasses. Like my side pony & jumper? I adored the outfit. This was a promo shoot with my dad and, yes, he was a clown. A really good clown. Very professional. He even went to clown school!


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